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CDC: Arizona ranks third in nation for vaccinating vulnerable populations

cdc report ranks Arizona third in vaccine distribution to vulnerable counties.jpg
Posted at 4:24 PM, Mar 17, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-17 19:24:10-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — A new report from the Center for Disease Control has listed Arizona as one of the best states in the U.S. at getting the coronavirus vaccine to vulnerable communities.

According to ADHS, the CDC listed Arizona third in the nation based on 15 indicators, including metrics for socioeconomic status, age and disability status, minority status and language, and housing type and transportation access, to assess the social vulnerability of counties in the U.S.

“This finding by the CDC demonstrates the value of the hard work by the Arizona Department of Health Services, counties, and healthcare workers to distribute Arizona’s limited supply of COVID-19 vaccine not only rapidly but equitably,” said Governor Doug Ducey. “From strategic use of planning tools to direct outreach in English and Spanish to closely monitoring data, Arizona has laid a strong foundation to break down barriers to the COVID-19 vaccine among our most vulnerable residents. We will continue to build on this success in the weeks and months ahead.”

“COVID-19 has had a more significant impact among racial and ethnic minority groups as well as those who are socially and economically disadvantaged,” said Dr. Cara Christ, director of the Arizona Department of Health Services. “It’s gratifying to see Arizona’s prominent mention and high national ranking in the CDC’s report, but we know there is much more work ahead with 6 million Arizonans who still need to be vaccinated.”

Earlier this week, Arizona reached a milestone when it was announced that one million people were fully vaccinated in the state.

ADHS credits a recent pilot program that helped it to reach high-risk individuals. The effort was launched in Phoenix and is aimed at focusing on an area with higher case counts and lower vaccination rates.

"This targeted outreach in ZIP code 85009 included several telephone town halls in English and Spanish, targeted use of social media in English and Spanish, and hundreds of yard signs promoting vaccination and wearing masks. Interaction with community leaders has also led to a collaboration that got more than 400 of the area's residents 65 and older to vaccination appointments by actively registering and providing transportation to and from the site," ADHS said.

ADHS says it plans to expand this approach to reach more of Arizona.

To read the full CDC state-by-state breakdown, click here.